Sunday, 11 August 2013

“Building a Foundation “ – People & Relationships, Starting with you

The Rotary Club of Auckland had the opportunity of organising RYLA 2013 for District 9920 and it was once again centred on Willow Park at Eastern Beach in Auckland, plus Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands, during the period 29th June to 6th July 2913.

A District RYLA Mini Assembly was held in November 2012 and Clubs were provided with a complete ‘Information Guide’ and after working closely with RYLA Club coordinators a total of 118 Awardees participated, supported from 23 Auckland-based Rotary Clubs, including 4 Awardees from Fiji and 1 from the Cook Island under the ROTA PACIFIC scheme.

RYLA 2013 was an-eight day residential programme involving Leadership Themes of “Building a Foundation “ – People & Relationships, Starting with you, Getting Inspired ; all over 3 days.  Next it was “Leadership in Practice” – Commercial Perspectives, Managing Teams, Working under Pressure. This section included a two-day Island Experience on Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands which was once again expertly managed by the NZ Army under the control of Lt Col Jon Atkinson with the Rotary Club of Auckland providing all the logistical support. The Awardees in teams were able to test their leadership skills during a non-stop 26 hour period under difficult conditions with ample support of NZ Army Officers. This once again proved a unique and challenging experience and a highlight for many Awardees.

The final two days incorporated further “Leadership in Practice” – In the Community, where Awardees went to three different Community Projects and got physically involved in practical projects to make a difference. The final night featured a Graduation Dinner at Willow Park which 280 people attended including the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key, DG Willard Martin, the NZ Army Officers  involved  and Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs sponsoring Awardees.

Rotaract took the opportunity to showcase their activities on the final morning and a feedback session produced valuable information with which to improve future RYLA programmes.

Overall the feedback was extremely positive which reflected the huge effort put into the organisation of the 2013 event by Rotary Club of Auckland members supported by other District Rotarians. We all gained enormous satisfaction and proved once again how valuable RYLA is in developing leadership skills in our talented young people.

Jim Johnston

Chair RYLA 2013 Operating Committee
Past President, Rotary Club of Auckland Inc